The Neapolitan Mastiff dog breed is a family and guard dog who was developed in southern Italy. Today this massive breed is known as a gentle giant.
There are TOP 10 interesting facts about Neapolitan Mastiff.
The first mastiff-type dogs are believed to have been developed in Tibet about 5,000 years ago. They served as guards and were used in battle. The specific Neo Mastiff was developed in Southern Italy around Naples, hence the name Neapolitan. Neapolitan breeders wanted a large dog with loose skin that would provide protection when attacked. They also wanted the dog to be loving and loyal to family members.
A massive body, head and bone structure gives the Neapolitan Mastiff a serious demeanor. This large and powerful dog is quite docile in spite of its fierce appearance. The breed is recognized by its huge size, loose skin and the many wrinkles and folds on the head.
3) Independent Mind
Neapolitan Mastiffs are usually easygoing and good-natured, but they're not pushovers to raise and train. Some are passively stubborn, while others are willful or dominant (they want to be the boss). You must show them, through absolute consistency, that you mean what you say.
The legends that have been built off of the Neo range from the inane to the awe inspiring. For nearly five thousand years, tales of werewolves and the rumors of being a dog and tiger mix have surrounded the breed. One account chronicles a band of angels who went to bind Lucifer and found the Neo at his side. The angels became smitten with the Neo and took the animal with them. The Neo was then offered to Atilla in exchange for peace and in order to stop him from laying further waste to earth's civilizations.
The Neo's temperament makes it more of a guardian than an attack dog. Even when it looks relaxed, it is aware and alert. If the owner is not home, no one is coming on the property with a Neo around. However, if the master welcomes a visitor, the Neo does too, but he may remain aloof and wary.
Young Mastiffs need enough exercise to keep them lean and healthy, but not so much that their soft growing bones, joints, and ligaments become over-stressed and damaged. Similarly, adult Mastiffs need enough exercise to keep them in shape, but definitely not running or jogging, and not in hot or humid weather for fear of overheating. The proper amount of exercise can be difficult to regulate in giant breeds.
Most people are not prepared for how much Neapolitan Mastiffs slobber and drool, especially after eating or drinking. When they shake their heads, you will be toweling saliva off your clothes and furnishings.
The Neo is short-haired with straight hairs that are one inch long or shorter. The coat is dense with hair uniform in length, giving a smooth appearance all over the body. There are no tufts or fringed hair anywhere. Solid colors for coats include light and dark shades of black, gray-blue, tawny and mahogany. The AKC allows some brindling in all colors if the brindling is tan. This is known as reverse brindling. Some may have white markings on the chest, throat, underside of the body or on the toes. White hairs behind the wrists are accepted by the AKC.
The Neo doesn't shed any more than the average dog. Brushing weekly with a hound glove or bristle brush keeps the coat free of loose hair as well as helping to keep it clean. If the wrinkles are dirty, wipe out with a soft, damp cloth. Give the Neo a bath when needed and be prepared to get wet yourself.
10) Health Issues
The lifespan of an Neapolitan Mastiff is very short – less than 10 years. And an alarming number of Mastiffs are crippled by bone and joint diseases and/or succumb to cancer at only 6 or 8 years old.